Pakistan's ex-PM Sharif arrested as he arrives home ahead of polls

By Agencies Source:CGTN Published: 2018/7/14 10:10:16

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested on his return to the country Friday, where he faces 10 years in prison for corruption, ahead of already tense elections his party claims are being rigged.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam "have been arrested" for corruption by authorities "with immediate effect and till further orders," according to a statement from the Islamabad city administration. They landed in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab province, at around 8:45 p.m. local time, and were taken to a jail in Rawalpindi city near the capital Islamabad.

Earlier, angry supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), party of Sharif, clashed with the riot police in Lahore when they wanted to proceed to the airport to welcome their leader.

Police had blocked all roads to the airport to stop the PML-N activists as authorities had banned political gatherings.

Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who now heads the PML-N, led a procession to head to the airport.

A smaller contingent of around two dozen supporters waited on the road to Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, the garrison city neighboring Islamabad, where Sharif was expected to be taken before going to a guest house on the outskirts of the capital which authorities said had been declared a "sub-jail."

The Accountability Court, Pakistan's anti-corruption court, had ruled on July 6 that Nawaz Sharif owned assets beyond his income and concealed his property abroad.

The court imposed an 8-million-pound penalty on Nawaz Sharif and a 2-million-pound fine on Maryam Nawaz. Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law Mohammad Safdar was also awarded a one-year sentence.

In July 2017, Sharif had to resign as prime minister after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding any public office over concealing earnings.

In April, the apex court disqualified Sharif for lifetime from the parliament and also barred him from heading a political party.

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